One bit of info we learned straight from the IRS, the earlier you file, the higher likelihood of being audited. They have a specific number of returns they audit, and they pull them off the top of the pile (randomly) until they've reached their quota.
The IRS doesn’t begin processing tax returns until January 30th of each year. However, once the opening filing date arrives, the sooner you are able to submit your return to the IRS the sooner you will receive your tax refund.
As most taxpayers will procrastinate (more often than not I am one of these people), putting off filing their tax return until the last minute and swamping the IRS with millions of returns at once, the closer you come to the tax filing deadline before you file your tax return the longer it will take the IRS to process your return.
To get your tax return as quickly as possible, make out your return, and any required schedules, as soon as you are able to pull all the necessary documentation together. That way you will be ready to submit your tax return to the IRS on January 30th. Those who submit early when the Internal Revenue Service are not as busy end up getting their returns the quickest. But for the rest of us this is not a reality, there are just to many peaces to some returns that make filing on January 30th impossible.
Check for Accuracy
Go over your tax return with a fine-tooth comb before you submit it to the IRS. Double check every line on each form and schedule for accuracy, as any mistakes can slow down your refund. While the IRS reviewers will usually be able to correct small mistakes, such as math errors and copying dollar amounts from your W-2 or 1099 forms incorrectly, inaccuracies can slow down processing time. Larger mistakes, such as omitting Schedule C or forgetting to sign your return, will result in the IRS contacting you to have the mistake corrected before they can process your return and issue your tax refund.
Filing and Refund Methods
While many taxpayers still prefer going with the old-school filing method of mailing in the paper forms and having the IRS send a refund check, filing your tax return electronically can help you get your refund sooner. Additionally, taxpayers also have the option of having the IRS submit their tax refund electrically, via direct deposit, which can cut the time it takes to receive your refund by as much as 10 days. Some taxpayers are actually required by law to e-file. If you file paper forms you can send your return to the IRS before the January opening filing date, but the IRS will not begin processing it before January 30th. It can take up to 48 for the IRS to accept your tax return when filing your return electronically
According to the IRS, it generally takes about 3 weeks to receive your tax refund after you submit your tax return, but the wait can be as short as 10 days for early filers and as long as 12 weeks for those who wait until the last minute. Other delays can include technical difficulties at the IRS, such as computer issues, or an audit of your return. The quickest way to receive your tax refund is by e-filing your return and having the IRS issue your tax refund via direct deposit.
Tracking Your Return
Taxpayers can call the IRS Refund Hotline at 800-829-1954 to check the status of their tax refund. However, the IRS has created an easy-to-use online tool so you no longer have to wonder “Where is my tax refund?” Taxpayers only need to go the “Refund Status” page on the IRS Website and type their information into the “Where is My Refund” tool. Status updates are posted every 24 hours, so you will only need to check the status of your tax return once a day. The IRS also offers the option of checking your tax refund status with the IRS2GO smartphone app. You should keep in mind that it can take up to 5 business days after the IRS has processed your return to receive your refund through direct deposit, or longer if the IRS is sending you a refund check through the mail.
So don’t fret too much, you know the Government is good for it. So what is the longest you have ever had to weight for your tax return?
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About the Author: KC Beavers is a semi-retired entrepreneur. The subject of personal finance has always fascinated him. In an effort to not bore those around him with all his love of personal finance as much he has come here to bore all of you instead. Be sure to follow KC on Twitter or Google+.
I remember doing my tax return on a paper 1040 and mailing in the return. It was long wait to get the refund check! Now I usually owe on the federal return and get a refund on the state return for a wash.
Better yet, arrange it so you don't even get a refund - why pay ahead of time? Cut the amount deducted and do estimated payments if you need to.
We were supposed to get our tax return but didn’t receive it. So we went online and checked out where it is with the IRS. Eventually tracked it down and received it. I heard that they IRS have millions of dollars unclaimed tax refunds every year because, for example, people forgot to update their address and all.
Six months. They sent my tax refund to my old address (even though it was filled out properly on the tax forms) and the new resident took the check and cashed it. I had to wait for that person to go to jail for tax fraud before they would cut me a new check because they thought we were in cahoots.
Wow that is crazy. This is another great reason to get away from the old check in the mail way of doing things. Any ideas on the sentence for the person who cashed your check?